Date: June 1, 2016
When I was about 10, my Dad taught me about the Jerk Tax. As my dad explained, the Jerk Tax was money added onto the bill for goods and services for anyone that was unkind or disrespectful. It’s not an exact science—there are exceptions—but on average, throughout the course of a lifetime, if you treat people with kindness and respect, demanding the same in return, you will pay less for whatever you are buying and have a better experience in the process.
The Jerk Tax certainly applies to wedding professionals and how we calculate a proposal. Perhaps you think this is a dirty little secret, but I would argue that the Jerk Tax can be found in every industry on the planet. Therefore, if you want to get the most for your money from wedding vendors, start with these simple steps:
1. Be respectful. Many of us in this industry are self-employed, hardworking, creative individuals who truly care about our client’s needs. Treat us as such and demand the same respect in return.
2. Check the time. We all need a day off, and most of us work 6-7 days a week. Before you send that text message at 11:00PM, ask for a late evening appointment, or request a meeting at 8:30AM on a Sunday morning, consider a more reasonable time.
3. Watch your mouth! Weddings are emotional and stressful. We all get it. We know. Your family is telling you what you must do while the budget is spinning out of control. Your sister is upset at you because your wedding date conflicts with her vacation, and in the meantime your fiancée thinks you’ve lost your mind! Don’t take it out on the people you have retained. We are on your side!
4. Be open and honest. If you feel you’re not getting what you want, rather than ranting on Yelp, have a sit with the vendor and speak your mind. If your photographer didn’t blow you away at the engagement session, tell them how you feel. It’s not awkward: it’s business.
5. Say thank you. I don’t mean just the words “thank you.” I mean a sincere heartfelt thank you of gratitude and appreciation.
Keeping these five simple tips in mind will help you get the most out of your wedding dollar and ensure that your special day is a positive and beautiful memory for everyone. Best of luck to you in your wedding planning!
Based in San Diego, Paul Barnett has earned the reputation as the preeminent wedding photojournalist. Since 1991, his unique style & uncompromising craftsmanship have attracted a worldwide clientele. True, genuine and unrehearsed, Paul’s images bring to life the small idiosyncrasies that define us as individuals, close family and good friends. Visit Paul’s web site at http://barnettphoto.com or find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Barnettphoto.